How to read an XLS File (Microsoft Excel) using unix Bash / Corn shell script?
With straight-up shell script you're more than likely sunk, but there are at least three Perl modules that can be used to parse excel spreadsheets and extract data from them.
Fair warning, none of them are particularly pretty, although
It's in debian 5.0 (Lenny) as
Depending on what you want to do with it a quick perl script should do the trick.
It is hard to work with closed format like the old Office formats, convert it into a xml based format using Office/OpenOffice/LibreOffice.
Then use xsltproc (or some other xml parser) to get the data in a way that you can work with.